STOP URBAN SHIELD PUTS SHERIFF ON THE DEFENSIVE

STOP URBAN SHIELD PUTS SHERIFF ON THE DEFENSIVE

On Tuesday January 10th the Stop Urban Shield (SUS) Coalition mobilized a powerful showing of over 100 community members at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting. Opening with a powerful rally, the SUS Coalition had a strong and inspiring presence against the Sheriff’s efforts to continue his violent, oppressive, and highly militarized SWAT training and weapons expo. We joined forces with the Alameda County Jail Fight Coalition, which was also there in force to stop the expansion of Santa Rita Jail, and made clear that the struggles against policing and imprisonment are fundamentally linked, and must be fought in tandem with each other.

For the last several months, the Coalition has been organizing to push the Board of Supervisors to refuse funding for Urban Shield. We have delivered testimony during public comment at meetings and created a report to help educated the Board on how they can shift their priorities and invest in true emergency preparedness and disaster responses that support communities. In October we alerted the Supervisors to the upcoming opportunities to refuse the Sheriff’s bid for Urban Shield funding, even though the Sheriff misled the Board, lying about intentions to receive funds to host the expo in 2018. For months we have requested meetings with each of the Supervisors to speak directly about our concerns, yet all refused to meet with us except for Richard Valle, who finally agreed at the eleventh hour on Monday.

On Tuesday, over 50 people representing 30 organizations spoke against Urban Shield and gave powerful testimony on the impacts of militarized policing on immigrant and Muslim communities and communities of color (Twitter feed account here). Our testimony broadly and succinctly challenged the legitimacy of police as emergency first responders, the collusion of natural disaster preparedness and militarization, and the continuation of a program that would expand the Trump regime’s capacity to wage war on our local communities. We were coordinated in our efforts and our talking points, despite the fact that the Board refused to allow the Coalition time for a counter presentation and even cut public comment to one minute per person. We presented a petition signed by more than 1500 Alameda County residents urging the Board to oppose Urban Shield. We demanded that the Supervisors refuse funding for Urban Shield, or at the very least, postpone their decision until all of them met with us.

Tuesday’s meeting revealed the power of our organizing. Due to pressure from the SUS Coalition, the Board of Supervisors requested a presentation from the Sheriff whereas in the past they have simply rubber stamped the funding. Given the threat of our efforts against Urban Shield, the Sheriff’s department felt compelled to gather testimony in his defense and lay out 2017 guidelines, including banning any vendors from the weapons expo that display racist material. Following questions from a Supervisor that the SUS Coalition delivered, the Sheriff even quickly accepted a ban on having international police units from countries with ongoing human rights violations. Though we do not believe that these guidelines will make Urban Shield any less destructive or harmful, they, along with his cabal of cops in attendance to support Urban Shield, show that he was terrified our communities were close to bringing the program to an end.

Shamefully, and despite the Sheriff’s blatant lies, roundabout answers, and our show of massive opposition with a strong and clear message, the Supervisors voted to support the Sheriff’s bid for Urban Shield in 2017. Yet this campaign is not over. We’re inspired that the organizing and resistance of our communities and allies were able to put the largest SWAT training in the world completely on the defensive. While the Supervisors voted to approve Urban Shield for fall 2017, we remain committed to strengthening our fight, continuing our struggle against Urban Shield, and ultimately winning.

www.stopurbanshield.org

TAKE ACTION NOW: Call Board of Supervisors Today, Rally Tomorrow.

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On Tuesday January 10, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will decide whether or not to allow the county Sheriff to receive funding for the Urban Shield police war games and weapons expo.

Tell Alameda County Board of Supervisors: No to Militarization! Vote No on Urban Shield!

Fight for stronger, safer, and healthier communities.

Take these three steps to end Urban Shield now:

1. Call the Board of Supervisors Today, January 9th. Tell them to vote no on Urban Shield!

Please spread the word and encourage your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to let the Board know, we want and end to Urban Shield now! Use the script and contact below or click here.

Sample script:

Dear Supervisor _________,

I am calling/writing to urge you and all Alameda County Board of Supervisors to take leadership in putting an end to the militarization of police and the militarization of disaster preparedness in Alameda County. On Tuesday, you will be asked to decide whether to authorize the Sheriff to enter into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative. This agreement will give the Sheriff access to funding for the notorious Urban Shield training and weapons expo. As you are surly aware, the divisive election of Donald Trump has raised concerns about an increase in militarized policing and attacks on immigrants, Arabs and Muslims, communities of color, and poor people. We call on you to stand with the communities you represent against such harm. Ending the divisive, dangerous, and xenophobic Urban Shield training and weapons expo is one significant way to do this. Tomorrow, we urge you to say no to the authorization of any funding for Urban Shield. Thank you.

Supervisor Haggerty // shawn.wilson@acgov.org (510) 272-6691
Supervisor Valle // christopher.miley@acgov.org (510) 272-6692
Supervisor Chan // jeanette.dong@acgov.org (510)272-6693
Supervisor Miley // anna.gee@acgov.org (510)272-6694
Supervisor Carson // amy.shrago@acgov.org (510)272-6695

2. Bring yourself and your people out to a Rally and Press Conference on Tuesday, January 10th against Urban Shield. Afterward, pack the boardroom to show that our communities reject Urban Shield. We will meet at the Alameda County Administration Building at 1221 Oak St, Oakland, CA 94612.  Please share the Facebook event page widely!

 

3. Are you an Alameda County Resident? Sign our petition, and share it with your networks.

* * * * *

By listening to the clear and powerful voice of Alameda County Residents, the Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to shift away from the cynical fear mongering at the heart of Urban Shield and toward an approach that responds to genuine Bay Area disaster threats by investing in health, food security, emergency shelter, and community resilience.

For more info, visit: http://stopurbanshield.org/

Call to Action from Arab Youth

AROC Youth Reflect on Militarization, Zionism and Repression
Interview with AYO youth leaders, Nora Abedelal and Nour Bouhassoun

Nora Abedelal and Nour Bouhassoun
What are your thoughts on this moment of ongoing attacks on Arabs and Muslims, targeting of Palestinian activism, and criminalization of Black and Brown communities in light of the Movement for Black Lives Platform, and the growing movement against Zionism?Nour: Oppressed people have always stood up for one another. That isn’t something new. The Movement For Black Lives platform illustrates that Black people are demanding their right to self-determination. This requires standing against all forms of oppression including the criminalization of Black and Brown youth, against surveillance, against war, and the attempts to control and militarize our communities.The platform is not just an expression of solidarity with Palestinians. It is more than that. It talks about the real connections between local and global struggles against State violence and recognizes that standing together to fight for economic, social and political power is how we can all achieve self-determination. Zionism is not oppressing one community; it oppresses all communities of color and poor people and helps the US to exercise repression locally and globally.

Nora: While we are seeing a lot of communities showing solidarity with one another, we are also facing a lot of backlash with the rise of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and conservatism in general. We know all of this reflects standard US domestic and foreign policy. So with more solidarity actions comes an increase in policing, surveillance and militarism. That’s why I am not surprised when I learn about events like Urban Shield. These are the ways they try to crush people rising up and taking action.

How can we continue to build on the connections being made between local policing and global repression and continue to fight back?

Nora: We have to understand that when we are engaged in this kind of work, it is inherently in solidarity with other communities because we all suffer from the same systems of oppression; the same systems trying to repress and control us.

We should be investing back into our communities through education, leadership development, and skill building as opposed to body cameras and prettier prisons. I have been seeing a lot of posts on social media about police giving out ice cream and playing basketball with youth. When people see that as a way to solve the problem, then they don’t understand that these are systemic issues that need long term solutions, and require grassroots organizing.

Nour:  People in this moment should know the difference between a tool and a strategy. Some of our youth are focusing too much on social media, which is a great tool, but not a strategy. It doesn’t bring people together on the ground. So what we need is to organize together. We should think of ways to engage in local efforts that weaken these systems and act as a model for the future.

There is a lot of attention on electoral politics now. Even though as we have witnessed for years, no matter who the president is, our conditions remain the same. I wish people would not see those in power as the problem solvers. Problem solvers are those most impacted.

How does stopping Urban Shield serve as a strategy for our movements and the health and well being of our communities?

Nour: Military tactics and training are used against an enemy. And when they train local police with these tactics they are training the police to treat our communities like enemies. When they purchase Israeli weapons and surveillance technology, and learn from Israeli military tactics, they are learning how to treat our communities here the same way the Israeli army oppresses Palestinians. Militarization creates a culture of fear and distrust and reinforces racism, encouraging informants and division in our community. Stopping Urban Shield is a way for our communities to demonstrate that we believe policing and militarization are not okay. If we can stop Urban Shield, we can encourage others to continue to challenge these systems in the face of repression.

Nora: I remember the police came to my house with an M16 rifle. And that is because events like Urban Shield normalize militarization. The police have historically made our communities uncomfortable and have historically repressed and targeted our communities. When I see police at protest with tanks and big guns I think of events like Urban Shield that allow these kinds of things to happen. Stopping Urban Shield would mean that instead of investing in militarization we would be able to invest in our communities. It also helps us take the focus away from individual gun violence, and instead remind people of the role that State violence plays in our everyday lives.

How do folks get involved?

Nora: Show up on September 9th in Pleasanton! Contact the Stop Urban Shield coalition for information on carpools from the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Nour: Organize meetings to learn more about Urban Shield and the ways that we can redirect funding towards community based solutions.

For more information on how you can take Nour and Nora’s lead on mobilizing to stop Urban Shield, visit www.stopurbanshield.org

عملنا يتزايد ونحن بحاجة الى دعم مجتمعنا

عملنا يتزايد ونحن بحاجة الى دعم مجتمعنا، كل الشكر لكرمكم الذي جعل عملنا هذا ممكناً

مما لا شك فيه بأن هذه السنة تخللها العديد من الصعوبات، لكن في الوقت ذاته كانت ايضاً سنة مفعمة بالنشاطات مليئة بالانتصارات لكل الناس التى تناضل من اجل العدالة بالعالم. مع كل الصعوبات التى واجهتنا سواء كمركز او كمجتمع، نحن نعتقد بأننا من خلال عملنا سوياً حقننا ما كنا نسعى لتحقيقه.

نرجو منك مشاهدة هذا الفيديو الذي يسلط الضوء على عملنا والنشاطات التى قمنا بها في المركز العربي للمصادر والتنظيم عام 2015

Watch the Video

نتطلع للعمل في السنة القادمة ونحن ملتزمين بالاستمرار في تراكم هذه الانجازات، وهذه الانجازات لن تتحقق بدون المساهمات المستمرة من ابناء مجتمعنا.

لقد قمنا بنجاح بتمرير القرار المتعلق بمسارات اللغة العربية في مدارس سان فرانسيسكو ونتطلع قدماً بالمضي مع مجتمعنا حتى يصبح مشروع اللغة العربية واقعاً. اما على مستوى عمل الفريق لقد قمنا بتوظيف موظفين اثنين يعملان بدوام كامل من اجل الحفاظ على زيادة قدرتنا على العمل، والمضي بعملنا قدماً نحو الأمام.

نهدف من خلال دعمكم للوصول الى مبلغ 65000 دولار .

اذا كنت ترغب بدعمنا :

- من الممكن ان تكون الممول الشهري عند مساهمتك ب 20 او 50 او 100 دولار شهرياً.

- من الممكن ان تتبرع لمرة واحدة.

- من الممكن ان تنظم حملة لجمع التبرعات لدعم المركز.

عملنا يتزايد ونحن بحاجة الى دعم محتمعنا، كل الشكر لكرمكم الذي جعل عملنا هذا ممكناً

2015 in review: Our Community in Action

2015: Our work speaks for itself.
Our community stands together.

2015 has been a difficult yet powerful year for us alongside people all across the world struggling for justice. At the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) we feel grateful to stand with a community determined to see through struggle. We have come together in the most difficult of times and challenged repression, racism, and war. We have joined forces with our allies, and demonstrated our strength and resilience. And we have achieved victories.

Rather than list out the accomplishments of AROC, we want to share a slideshow with you of the work we have done together–with you, with your families, and communities.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video. And if you so feel compelled, and we hope you do, consider donating. We need your support this year more than ever.

Watch the Video

We are committed to building on our victories, none of which are possible without your consistent contribution. From passing and defending a resolution for Arabic pathways in SF public schools, to hiring two new full time staff to carry our work forward, we are excited for 2016.

Our goal is to raise $65,000 with your support. And we trust we can do it.

Will you support us?

  • Become a monthly sustainer. Contribute $20, $50, $100 a month.
  • Make a one time donation. Every dollar counts.
  • Organize a fundraiser to support AROC.
  • Please consider increasing your gift this year. AROC is growing, our work is growing, and we need our community support to grow with us.

Thank you for making our work possible.

Lara Kiswani
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Case of the Syrian Refugees in the Bay Area

Listen to AROC staff attorney, Lina Baroudi, on KPFA discussing the case of the Syrian refugees as it relates to recent political developments.

The Case of Syrian Refugees

By Lina Baroudi

What are the conditions that Syrian refugees are facing?

As of yesterday, over twenty U.S. state governors have announced that they will oppose the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their states. Putting aside the unconstitutionality of these proposed policies, these state leaders’ sentiments are indicative of the ignorance and scapegoating so prevalent in this country. The world has finally turned its eyes to Syria, but the more than 4 million Syrian refugees did not come into existence until last week.

Since March 2011, individuals and families have been fleeing Syria to Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, where they are waiting to be processed for resettlement in a third country. While in limbo, they are separated from their families and many are living without running water, electricity, medical and mental health services. I think, by now, everyone is familiar with the image of Aylan Kurdi, the young Syrian refugee who died in the Mediterranean Sea trying to leave Turkey with his family. There are hundreds of thousands of Aylans in what the UN has called the largest humanitarian crisis of our era.

What process do they have to go through?

The screening process for refugees, and specifically Syrian refugees, involves the most intensive security background check of anyone seeking admission into the U.S.

  1. Registration and interviews with UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), undergo security checks using biodata, biometrics, iris scan
  2. Referral to U.S. for resettlement
  3. Interview by the U.S. DOS’s Resettlement Support Center; obtain security clearance by DHS
  4. Vetted against databases of Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, the FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center
  5. Syrian refugees undergo another background check by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  6. Matched with a U.S.-based resettlement agency
  7. Undergo additional checks by CBP and TSA

How long does it take?

The average time is 18-24 months

What support do they have after they get refugee status?

Once refugees arrive here, there are refugee resettlement organizations which initially place them with a host family, then find them their own apartments, and assist them in finding employment, medical services and enrolling the children in school. After that, they are more or less on their own. And even during that process, they are often placed in areas they are completely unfamiliar with, alienated from community and at the will of placement agencies.

Out of the 4.1 million registered Syrian refugees, the U.S. has accepted just over two thousand since 2011. But what we should also take note of are the several thousand Syrian immigrants who have fled Syria in recent years. Even though they have not been designated as refugees, we should understand the condition of the Syrian people to include forced migrants, refugees, displaced people and those in diaspora who have suffered the pain of their family and community. Most of the recent migrants from Syria faced extreme violence prior to their arrival here; violence supported and funded by the U.S. They were fortunate enough to flee before being forced into refugee camps. However, their families are those same people languishing in camps.

What have been the recent shifts in US domestic policy?

In September, President Obama announced that the U.S. will take an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees. In response to the events of last week, the House Republicans are expected to pass legislation today to freeze and overhaul the refugee admission process, specifically in regards to Syrians and Iraqis. We have a Virginia mayor commending the use of internment camps for Japanese-Americans as a rationale for keeping Syrian refugees out of his city. We’re seeing the same kind of backlash against Arabs and Muslims as we did in 2001.

The irony, again, is that the U.S. does not take responsibility for its actions in the Arab world and its role in the Syrian refugee crisis, whether it’s through propping up dictators, fueling sectarian violence or creating and sustaining extremist groups.

The bottom line is what is happening in Syria is a tragedy. No matter what we call it, the result is the same: civilian deaths, families torn apart, the creation of millions of new refugees, and the re-traumatization of Palestinian refugees who were living in Syria. 

How does the US compare to other countries?

There is no comparison at all. Germany and Sweden have been the most welcoming countries to Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, and France has just recommitted itself to accepting 30,000 more Syrian refugees.

Meanwhile, the hypocrisy in U.S. immigration policy is that while stigmatizing the less than one percent of Syrian refugees this country has accepted, the U.S. has in place other mechanisms – asylum and temporary protected status – to afford legal status to the thousands of Syrians already living in this country. What we should be comparing is the role that the U.S. has played in creating the crisis in the Arab world; the role it has played in funding, arming and inciting the violence that Syrians are fleeing from. While the U.S. funded ISIS, propped up dictators, and armed racist states like Israel, it turns a blind eye to the impact its policies and practices have had on those it considers non-Western. Take, for instance, the attention we have seen on Paris; all the while the Syrians and Lebanese who have been devastated by ISIS have been ignored. And then when those same people seek refuge from the destruction that the U.S. has a direct role in, they are criminalized and demonized and accused of the same violence they are fleeing.

People all over the world are outraged at what they are witnessing. They are outraged at U.S. foreign policy and they know all too well that those at the receiving end of it, are the ones that fall victim to the racism and fear mongering that results.

We at AROC are working tirelessly to meet the growing needs of the forced migrants from the U.S. by providing immigration services. But there needs to be a radical shift in how the U.S. relates to the world. Otherwise, the Syrian crisis we see today will be reproduced in other parts of the world. Just as it has over decades, from Latin America to Africa.

Stop Urban Shield 2015

Stop Urban Shield 2015!

WHAT IS THE STOP URBAN SHIELD COALITION?

Stop Urban Shield is a broad coalition of grassroots community and social justice organizations primarily based in the Bay Area but with partnering community groups across the nation who have come together united against Urban Shield. Urban Shield, a SWAT team training and weapons expo that brings together local, regional, and international police-military units to collaborate on and profit from new forms of surveillance, state repression, and state violence. The Stop Urban Shield Coalition includes members from various race, faith, political and social backgrounds and successfully stopped the Urban Shield expo from being hosted in Oakland in 2014.  Our goal is to end Urban Shield and hold accountable our cities and counties from their corroboration in increased racialized repression and violence.

Last year, Stop Urban Shield and broader community organizations and members built upon Oakland’s rich history of organizing against policing and for self-determination by forcing the City of Oakland to stop hosting Urban Shield. This was a hugely significant victory for our city and demonstrated the power of our collective grassroots organizing.

But the fight is not over. Urban Shield mistakenly thinks that they can evade accountability to our communities by moving the convergence to the City of Pleasanton, even though the City of Oakland, along with cities all across the Bay Area, California and the U.S. will still be fully participating. Let’s show them they’re wrong! As communities around the country rise up demanding an end to racist police violence, it is now more important than ever to build upon our victories and work toward shutting down Urban Shield entirely.
While Urban Shield is just one front in the fight against the state’s attempt to militarize every aspect of our lives – from its war-making here and abroad, to the increasing presence of police in our schools, to the systemic murder of Black and Brown people at the hands of police – stopping Urban Shield would be a major victory against this growing trend of militarization in cities everywhere, from Oakland to Ferguson to Baltimore. Join us in resisting violence against our communities and in fighting for genuine visions of justice, safety, and self-determination

2015 Media Round Up: 

Ways to Join the Stop Urban Shield coalition nationally:

Sign on to our demands here.

Like the Stop Urban Shield Facebook page.

Pass this infosheet around your community (Spanish & English available).

Let’s fight for community resilience & end state repression everywhere!

Act now to #StopUrbanShield!

Endorsing organizations

American Friends Service Committee

Anakbayan – East Bay

AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center

Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition

Bay Area Committee for Peace & Justice

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Civilize the Cops

CODEPINK – Bay Area

Critical Resistance

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

International Action Center

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Iraq Veterans Against the War – Bay Area Chapter

Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area

Million Hoodies

OccupySF Action Council

Oakland Privacy Working Group

Oscar Grant Committee

Palestine Youth Movement

UAW – Local 2865

Restore the 4th

San Leandro – SAFE

School of the Americas Watch – Oakland

School of the Americas Watch – San Francisco

War Resisters League

Workers World Party

Xicana Moratorium Coalition

Why Arabs & Muslims Must Say No to Urban Shield! #BDS #StateViolence

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center stands with all those Black, Brown, and trans lives who have fell victim to the state sponsored terrorism. And we are inspired by the courage of the rebellions in Ferguson and Baltimore have shown resilience in their ongoing resistance.

About the Stop Urban Shield Coalition

Urban shield has been in the Bay Area since 2007. It represents the massive militarization of the police. Each year local, federal and international agencies converge in Oakland to engage in trainings aimed at arming everyone – from health workers to Oakland Police Department – with tactics and weapons used by repressive governments, and racist, colonial, Apartheid states such as Israel. Each year they sharpen their skills at better terrorizing our communities. And last year, AROC and the Stop the Urban Shield Coalition organized to put enough pressure on the City of Oakland to demand that they stop hosting Urban Shield. And we won!

This was a significant victory that built on a history of Oakland organizing against policing and repression. But the work and struggle against State violence continues.

Arabs and Muslims

Surveillance, war and repression has a long history in all our communities. And for Arabs and Muslims it is illustrated in our homelands, in our forced migration to places like the US, in racial profiling here, and in the attacks on our organizations for fighting back against racism.

We have been increasingly racially and religiously profiled after 9-11. And we know that the U.S. government exploited 9/11 to justify the military occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq and drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. They have strengthened their partnership with the colonial Apartheid state of Israel and have developed a system of global policing and repression that impacts us all. What we are seeing in our cities today, and what Urban Shield represents, is in fact the result of western imperialism from the days that this land was stolen from the indigenous people of the Americas.

The role of Israel

Israel is the largest producer of surveillance technology and their weapons and technology are featured in the Urban Shield expo. They have also sent several agencies to train and import their torture and surveillance tactics into the US. We all know that Israeli security forces regularly train US law enforcement. The objective of such partnerships is to bring Israeli practices of apartheid and racial segregation and militarization into our backyards. Because the interests of the US and Israel are one in the same. That is why the US supports and arms Israel to the teeth to continue its genocide against the Palestinian people.

Stopping Urban Shield

The sole purpose of Urban Shield is to justify occupation and militarization of Black and Brown communities and suppress social movements.

Only our joint work together and cross movement building will stop this imperialist war machine. Today we are mirroring the acts of solidarity from Palestine to Ferguson, and the history of struggle against global repression. Just like we won last year, we will win this fight and Stop Urban Shield in order to fight for the self determination and dignity of all our people!

Justice for Andy Lopez, Oscar Grant, and Sandra Bland! Justice for Rasmea Odeh and all those fighting political repression and state violence!


What is Urban Shield?

Urban Shield is a federally-funded program militarizing every aspect of society. With a budget of over $2 million, it hosts over 200 local, federal and international agencies, from health workers to law enforcement, for both tactical equipment sales and on-the-ground SWAT training operations. The four day convention features the latest in surveillance technology and weapons trade show which is followed by two days of war game training exercises throughout the Bay Area, from airports, maritime ports, to rapid transit. Urban Shield’s budget comes from the Urban Areas Security Initiative, a program in the Department of Homeland Security.

The Urban Shield convention not only attracts law enforcement from the local and national police departments and agencies, but also a hand fill of foreign law enforcement agencies from Israel, Bahrain, Qatar, Guam, South Korea, and Singapore. According to the Urban Shield website, the term “nexus to terrorism” is included for each training exercise.

Why Should the Arab and Muslim Community Oppose Urban Shield?

Urban Shield Urban Shield is the largest urban SWAT competition in the country and represents the massive military industrial complex financing and training of local law enforcement with “counter-terrorism” tactics and racial profiling methods. The majority of Urban Shield training scenarios involve responding to “terrorist” attacks and always include scenarios that involve stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims. The glorification of Anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment is in fact central to the logic of Urban Shield.

Local law enforcement has been aggressively buying military grade equipment to ‘counter’ a potential “terrorism” scenario. The use of “terrorism” by convention promoters is aimed at constructing a narrative of fear of Arabs and Muslims to justify the massive spending on surveillance and tactical equipment and further criminalization of Black and Brown people.

The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Joint Terrorism Task Force, and other law enforcement agencies have increasingly targeted Arabs and Muslims since 2001. This targeting has resulted in police and FBI harassment, detention, deportations, and criminalization of Arab and Muslims. Equipping law enforcement with military weaponry and tactics makes such already targeted communities that much more susceptible to State violence.

What are we fighting for?

Last year, AROC and other grassroots organizations as part of the Stop the Urban Shield Coalition organized actions to demand that the city of Oakland stop hosting Urban Shield, and we won! But there is more work to be done. Alameda County continues to host Urban Shield and dozens of agencies from across the Bay Area and California continue to participate. AROC remains committed to challenging surveillance, militarization, and repression. We are steadfast in demanding an end to all of Alameda County’s participation in the Urban Shield program, an end Urban Shield once and for all, and to end to all collaborations with Apartheid Israel.

Join us as we protest the convention being held on September 11th to build with other communities to demand an end to the Urban Shield program as whole. No to policing, surveillance and militarization! No to State violence from here to our homelands!

 الدرع الحضري”: هو مثال للعنف الدولة 


يعقد في كل عام في خليج سان فراسيسكو معرض السلاح و تدريبات مكافحة الارهاب المعروف باسم “الدرع الحضري”. يستهدف هذا المؤتمر تدريب الشرطة المحلية و الفدرالية بمنهج عسكري طبقاً لتكتيكات مكافحة الإرهاب. ويهدف هذا الحدث الى مواصلة عسكرة الشرطة إلى جانب قطاع الخدمات الاجتماعية الواسع بما في ذلك الرعاية الصحية والعاملين بالطوارئ مثل رجال الاطفاء. 
يعقد المؤتمر بمشاركة وكالات خاصة من الاحتلال الاسرائيلي والأنظمة القمعية الأخرى فضلاً عن الحكومة الاتحادية. “الدرع
الحضري” هو مثال صارخ على عنف الدولة وممارسات الشرطة القمعية والحرب.

GET INVOLVED

Like our Coalition’s Facebook page and invite your friends to join! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Urban-Shield/515805795263322?fref=ts

Sign and share this petition: http://www.thenation.com/article/stop-urban-shield-join-a-grassroots-campaign-to-fight-police-militarization/

Pledge your organization’s support to Stop Urban Shield. Sign your organization on to the statement of support here:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1e_kwOhDwvK5bRe6n7s7S-UTXR4fEKcBqEPIryaDVn8U/viewform

Factsheet for Arab and Muslim communities.  

One year ago, we made history.

Block the Boat, One Year Later

One year ago the Bay Area made history by blocking the largest Israeli shipping line from docking at the port of Oakland. When the entire world was taking to the streets against Israeli Apartheid and the war on Gaza, so too were thousands in the streets of San Francisco. People from all across Northern California stood shoulder to shoulder to march in the spirit of justice, liberation and self-determination.

Then on August 16th, we put those convictions into action with the Block the Boat coalition – AROC along with over 70 immigrant rights, anti-war, abolitionist, queer, economic and racial justice organizations, and numerous individuals – set on stopping the largest Israeli shipping line, the Zim ship, at the Port of Oakland. We mobilized en masse with a remarkable show of solidarity between ILWU Local 10 rank-and-file and our community, building on the radical legacy of the longshoremen, the South African anti-Apartheid struggle, and Arab solidarity with workers in the Bay Area. We made history by ultimately stopping the Zim shipfrom docking at the Port of Oakland indefinitely. The workers honored picket lines by refusing to unload the ship in August, September and October – and the Israeli Zim ship hasn’t returned since.

We accomplished this victory by centering Arab leadership, building on worker solidarity and committing to long term cross movement building. We organized in coordination with actions in Vancouver, NY, Tampa, Long Beach, Seattle and Tacoma. And together we achieved one of the most successful Boycott, Divest and Sanction victories in history by making a political, cultural and economic impact on the Apartheid State of Israel.

The BDS movement is growing as people are recognizing that Israeli occupation of Palestine is linked to repression worldwide. The relationship of Israel to the policing and repression of Black and Brown communities has been exposed, and the connections between movements for self-determination from the streets of Oakland, Baltimore and Ferguson to the movements in Haiti, the Philippines and Palestine are deepening.

Alongside all our people struggling here and in our homelands, we remain committed to rising up against policing, war and militarism. As we commemorate the Block the Boat victory, we ask you to join AROC in the Stop the Urban Shield coalition to continue to rise up against repression for the sake of our dignity and liberation.

And be sure to take a few minutes to watch this Block the Boat video documenting the resilience, commitment and power of the people in standing up against state violence.